This has been an unprecedented time for parents who have been dealing with the challenges of having kids stuck at home, trying to keep them engaged in their education while unable to socialise.
In order to help provide parents with professional guidance, and to just connect with one another, Planet Youth will be holding a series of free online workshop designed to help them in these challenging circumstances.
Planet Youth is a pilot programme by the Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force which has been operating in Galway, Mayo, and Roscommon since 2018.
Working with other agencies, it offers primary intervention directed at young people in at-risk circumstances to promote health and wellbeing.
Three interactive online workshops will take place over the coming week for parents in Mayo, Roscommon, and Galway.
Each workshop will take place at 7:30pm on the following dates:
- Mayo – Thursday, April 23
- Roscommon – Tuesday, April 28
- Galway – Thursday, April 30
“We are very conscious that parents are now dealing with extraordinary challenges and we want to be there for them,” said Emmet Major, a member of the Planet Youth steering committee.
He added that these workshops will offer parent “the opportunity to engage with other parents in conversation where they can share their challenges while also acknowledging the good parenting that is taking place.”
The workshops, supported by Healthy Ireland funds, will be led by Adolescent Psychotherapist Gina Dowd, who works with teenagers and their families.
Fortunately parents of teenagers in Ireland went into this crisis with already strong approval ratings from their kids according to Planet Youth.
Surveys carried out by the group last year found that over 90% of 15 and 16 year olds across the region said that they received warmth and caring from their parents easily.
These workshops hope to build on that in these more challenging circumstances Emmet said.
The workshops will last for approximately 90 minutes and will be followed by a further video created by Gina that will be circulated to parents in the days afterwards.
A parent who attended a recent trial event for this format, described it as “very helpful and re-assuring.”
She said, “This is a very challenging time for parents, and it was great to chat with other parents who are in the same boat right now, and also to get some professional pointers from Gina.”
“I found it very supportive and I think many parents will derive great benefits from attending.”
To register for the workshop, simply email your county – Mayo, Roscommon or Galway – to firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll be contacted with a registration link.
image: President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, together with his wife, Sabina Higgins, and the Tuam Youth Council at the launch of the Planet Youth Strategy and Implementation Framework. credit: Planet Youth